On Sunday June 18th Philadelphians gathered for the largest Juneteenth parade and festival in the United States. Thousands of people watched the parade and made their way to Malcolm X Park to continue the celebration. Everyone Eats Philly provided attendees with a free meal. The festival also featured art, music, small businesses, a children’s village, and a health and wellness fair where attendees could get free check ups. Sheryl Lee Ralph, star of the ABC show Abbott Elementary, was the parade’s Grand Marshal.
Bartram’s Garden also hosted their Juneteenth celebration on the 18th with Vinyl Tap 215. The Juneteenth celebration featured performances by Jacqueline Constance and Jester’s Experiment along with storytellers Paul D. Best and Black Boys Makin’ Noise. Guests enjoyed a nature walk led by Horticulturalist and Harvey’s Memorial Curator Yasir Hall in which he talked about the links between botany and Black history both in the Garden and beyond. Vendors were also onsite for attendees, as well as massages, children’s activities, free fruit and much more!
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. According to National Geographic on January 19th, 1865 news arrived in Texas that the Civil War had ended and slaves were finally free. Juneteenth officially became a National Holiday on June 17, 2021 after President Biden signed bipartisan legislation.
Grand Marshal Sheryl Lee Ralph enjoying the Juneteenth Parade. From The Inquirer